Damn, I'm glad I ditched Plex! When I left the forums the ninjas were trying to convince everyone that the focus was still on OUR media. Well, it's becoming less and less obvious that is the case.
EDIT: Sorry for the mini vent coming up but it felt good to type and blow off some steam. So frustrating... LOL
Not this former Ninja. I was always pretty outspoken as to what I like/don't like and where problems lie. Same here but there isn't much not to like or pick apart as it's pretty solid and well thought out.
I was getting really upset with "bonehead" designs being incorporated into the product (can't delegate recording to others, can't share network tuners with other apps, can't allow Live TV access for people not part of "home") that were done ON PURPOSE. Lack of testing/fixing that allows "TITLE" of EPG to be the file name so the 4pm "NFL GAME" overwrites the 1pm game and the 8:20 game overwrites the 4pm game. That was fixed pretty quickly as it only took 10 months to diagnose/troubleshoot and mostly fix. Turns out it was designed that way on purpose as well because the main dev like to have his "news" overwrite the previous version so he only had 1 file with the current news (of the same title). It was like pulling your own teeth trying to get him to understand how bad this was for sports (and other shows). Clearly a person put in charge of something that had never researched or really used advanced features of a PVR/DVR before.
Forcing PMP2 style UI on new platforms when the users didn't like it. The Ninjas and Employees didn't like it either in early testing. I/we pointed out all the short comings from day one in private with the team. All but 2 Ninjas fully agreed. But the "type first" menu system was what they needed/wanted for upcoming content they had in mind. It surely didn't add much for the "local" experience (wrecked it) so you don't have to be a rocket scientist to ask why did they keep pushing it so hard?
The decision to pull plugins over a year ago (yep) and to replace that with Internet based content they control didn't sit well with me either. Nearly ever Ninja disliked it as they were the main plugin devs. Nothing wrong with new internet based additional content but they won't even allow you to turn it off for each person in the admin console, because they aren't "your users". Plex always/does feel that anyone running client software is THERE customer, not your user.
They have clearly (to everyone using the software) been focusing on a lot of things NOT "core" which is why people run the servers (for LOCAL MEDIA) in the first place! Maybe 1 in 5 things seems to still be "local" oriented these days. Well much higher if you count removing "core" features.
Cloud Server was just an utter joke. Works, breaks, works, breaks. You never knew if your files would play or your server would be up. If you had a big library you could actually exhaust your Google Drive transfer rate each day just from the background processes. Here's a good one. I had most of my media duplicated in the cloud on Google at the time which made it easy. I started on day one BEFORE it was released to the public and my library on the last day when it was pulled/closed had still not fully indexed!!! It was only about 3/4 done. Total waste of dev time because they tried to spin up normal Plex servers with minimal mods instead of rewriting parts that they should have like pulling a file once so you can create bif files, index, probe, deep analysis, etc
They broke Cloud Sync and instead of fixing it, removed it. Their "Optimize" is highly broken now, because it doesn't work correctly with "streaming brain". Streaming brain looks at total media bitrate (video, audio, subs, etc) while Optimize only worried about video size. Hence all the local optimizations or cloud synced optimizations didn't work with streaming brain as the overall bitrate of the produced files exceeded streaming brain limits.. Doh The only client that usually got things correct was the Roku client because the main dev had long before created his own version of "streaming brain" and similar logic that actually worked correctly so he never really used the server version until the new UI release.
I of course got kicked form the Ninja program (and some others recently) for being o positional when we were pointing out these inconsistencies and problems with the designs and change of focus. Left hand doesn't know Right hand exists, let alone what it's doing syndrome. "How can you be a team player when you don't believe in the team?" Good question.
Yes @cayars did call him out on it in the forums as he was being coy answering questions. He wasn't clear in intention and acting like it was the first time they were hearing these comments/complaints from users about how bad the new UI was. I of course knew all the back channel stuff on this from day one and got into long, long (hours) discussions with him and the teams in chat on everything you see/read from users in the forums. I had pointed it all out before anyone other than a Ninja ever saw it (the UI). None of the complaints were new and they were getting this feedback during development from me and other Ninjas.
A good test of your own software, is how much you use it yourself. When employees & Ninjas use Kodi, Infuse, PMP1, early APKs (side loaded) vs their own new clients, that should be a red flag in itself but never was/is that I know of.
Plex is clearly moving in another direction besides just local media. They could do it pretty smoothly by not fighting the admins but they have their own way of doing things unfortunately. I'm a big fan of external content (even with ads) if it enhances the local media experience and the admin is in control of the use of the content for each user. I'd love to see Pluto TV, Tubi TV or similar added to Emby if they could get a cut of the ad space. Content is good if control is there!
How awesome would it be to start a server and have 300+ channels to choose from (Pluto) for "Live TV" without ever adding or buying a tuner (just like it works in Android TV LiveChannels)? You may only want to use 10 of them but still that's "free" content. How awesome would it be to click a few buttons and have Tubi TVs Movies and TV Shows as separate libraries on your server? They key is in the integration and admin control and not just adding it on top with no control to try and collect ad $. One is an enhancement and one is an intrusion and this is what Plex doesn't understand yet.
EDIT: Mods feel free to remove this message if you want. Nothing really new here that hasn't been posted over at Plex but it fits the title & thread so...